What You Can Patent in the US

You may be wondering what you can patent in the US. There are several options, including inventions of machineries, products, and processes. In most cases, however, you must be an American citizen to obtain a patent. However, if you do not reside in the US, you can file for patent protection in the European Union. In addition to the EU, you can also apply for a patent in the US. The process is simple.

Non-obviousness is a requirement for utility patents

According to the Patent Act of 1952, an invention must be “non-obvious,” which means that it is not a logical extension of prior art. Non-obvious inventions are those in which the invention is more significant and different from prior art than a logical increment improvement. The USPTO considers “obviousness” in light of POSITA, or a typical scientist or engineer in the field. For example, a patent examiner may examine a previous invention to determine whether it is truly non-obvious.

If an invention is not obvious to a person of ordinary skill, a patent application may be denied. To make an invention non-obvious, it must be sufficiently different from prior art that a person of ordinary skill would not have known about it. A simple example of this is sodium chloride and potassium chloride, both of which can be used interchangeably. However, chemists working on improving road salt would consider this substitution to be obvious, and therefore not patentable.

Another way to show that your invention is non-obvious is through commercial success. It must have a nexus, which is a legally-sufficient connection between the evidence of commercial success and the features of your invention. You can capture these features in a claim amendment by defining them. Otherwise, the examiner may have missed or misunderstood these features.


One of the requirements to patent an idea is novelty. A new invention is one that no one else has made before, hasn’t been published, or hasn’t been offered for sale anywhere in the world. A warp drive, for example, wouldn’t be patentable unless it was described in sufficient detail. In the US, that means you would need to combine two well-known items. An obvious idea, however, may be elevated to a patentable idea by selecting those two items in a unique way.

Moreover, the novelty requirement must be demonstrated. An invention must be new and inventive in the US. It must also be unique in its field. However, even the most promising inventions are inevitably going to have some prior art. Patent law provides an inventor with tools to judge the novelty of their inventions and gives them guidance to refine them further. The main goal of the patent system is to exclude prior art, but some prior art cannot be excluded. A wheel, for example, is not new. It is part of the prior art.

Besides evaluating the novelty of an invention, the examiner will also consider other factors. The patent office will conduct a patent search and check prior art to see whether the invention has already been patented. This is because a similar invention may be covered by several patents and it may be obvious to a layman. This is why it’s so important to submit your ideas early enough. This way, you’ll be able to submit your ideas ahead of your competitors and enjoy a competitive advantage.


Patentability depends on whether an invention is non-obvious to a person of ordinary skill. Non-obviousness standards are not changed by the 1952 Patent Act. To be patentable, your invention must be a new or useful development of an existing technology. The patenting process requires a skilled person to combine and modify prior art teachings and references. The following discussion will provide a basic understanding of how to prove non-obviousness in an application.

In re Sullivan, the Supreme Court rewrote the standard for determining whether an invention is obvious. In that case, the Federal Circuit used a rigid, three-part test called the teaching, suggestion, and motivation standard to exclude certain inventions. The objective of this test is to prevent people from using hindsight to determine whether a certain invention was obvious. Thus, the standard for determining obviousness must be more rigid than before.

Despite the subjective nature of non-obviousness, courts have consistently cited practicalities when assessing whether an invention is not obvious to a person of ordinary skill. Thus, you need to provide a strong initial case for non-obviousness and an opening for the examiner to refute it later. If this does not work, you may lose your patent application. A skilled patent attorney can help you make this case.


If you have an idea for a new product or process, you may want to consider putting it under the radar and patenting it. Patents can be an excellent tool for protecting your brand. However, to protect your process, you must ensure that it meets the patent eligibility requirements. To be eligible, your invention must be novel and different from other products or processes on the market. Moreover, your invention must have been disclosed in a public forum within 12 months of its creation. If you discover a new method or process that no one has used before, it’s probably time to patent it.

Patenting a process can be difficult, however. Since a patented process is often performed in a location that is not publicly accessible, gathering proof of infringement can be difficult. In addition, it can be particularly difficult to collect proof in a foreign country, where evidence may be based on circumstantial evidence. Fortunately, Congress has made this burden-shifting provision applicable to processes you can patent in the US.

Moreover, there are several limitations on the types of processes you can patent in the United States. In the United States, a process can be related to a medical procedure. However, federal law restricts physicians from infringing on a medical process patent. Despite this, many cases have focused on mental processes as statutory subject matter. In Cochrane v. Deener, the court ruled that only actions that change the subject are considered processes. This left open the question of whether other processes are included.


A computer program may be worthy of a patent. The software could provide better accuracy in insulin delivery or be part of a connected car that detects drowsiness in the driver. However, it can be difficult to define the exact nature of the program and what it does. Here are some of the main criteria for determining whether a computer program is worthy of a patent. Read on for more information. Software you can patent in the US: How to Protect Your Ideas

The first thing to keep in mind is that software is not a tangible product that can be bought or sold. Unlike tangible products, software is essentially free. That means you can patent your software and have it protected for decades. However, many developers argue that software should not be patentable. In fact, many techies argue that software patents slow innovation. A software patent can be issued for software that is outdated. Further, the entire process is expensive: preparing, filing and maintaining a software patent can cost upwards of $50,000.

There are also four basic requirements that a software product must meet before it can be patented. First, the software must be patent-eligible. Second, the claimed invention must be useful and novel. Third, the product must be non-obvious. Non-obviousness is similar to the inventive step requirement in an international application. These two requirements must be met before it can be patented in the US.

Atomic weapons

It is not clear why the US government would want to patent atomic weapons, but they certainly could have a monopoly on such technology. It is possible that the government wanted to keep atomic weapons secret because the atom bomb would be dangerous, and patenting such a weapon would allow it to be made more easily. This is a misunderstanding of the patent system, and it should be avoided at all costs.

The Patents Act of 1977 requires the Secretary of State to review atomic inventions and atomic weapon patent applications for national security reasons. The Secretary of State determines whether the disclosure of a patent application would endanger the national security. Wellerstein, an acclaimed mechanical engineer, has argued that this law is unnecessary. While we may not know exactly why this act is necessary, it is important to remember that not everything under the sun can be patented in the U.S.

The Commission is authorized to purchase, condemn, and distribute fissionable material. The Commission must be confident that the operator of the facility is capable of producing enough fissionable material to meet the needs of the United States. This means that it will be difficult to get a patent on atomic weapons. In fact, this law only applies to atomic weapons, and the US government has yet to approve any other type.